Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ★★★

Honestly, I had no expectations going into this movie. The trailers didn’t seem too interesting & I was afraid that it would be very formulaic. However,  At this point in my life, even if a trailer for an MCU movie looks uninteresting, I’m still going to see it. Have to keep up. After watching this movie, I was pleasantly surprised. Shang-Chi is a lot of fun. Honestly, the first act really, really took me be surprise. It felt very fresh, unique & exciting. Action scenes were also excellent. Especially loved the choreography. Bus fight scene in particular was a standout. The score was also sublime. Which is honestly a huge surprise since many MCU movies have a dull score. Really liked the usage of instruments & especially the epic feel that it gave during the action scenes. Costume design, makeup & production design are top notch as well. Definitely spent a lot of money to really get across the level of details. The lead performance was also pretty good. Definitely liked all the little ticks that he brought to his character. The comedy also landed half the time which in large part has to do with Awkwafina’s comedic performance. Which more often then not hit its mark. The cinematography was also a huge step up from most MCU movies & has several breathtaking scenes early on. Camera angles, lighting & movement really were on point too.  All that being said, I did feel mixed about certain things. I really wasn’t a fan of act two. The pacing halted & honestly dragged on A LOT during said time. What made the wound sting even more so to speak was the CONSTANT spewing of exposition during said act. It was just too much for myself. Most of the time it doesn’t feel natural & feels like the studio just didn’t trust the audience. Visual storytelling is a great thing & unfortunately, there were many times where this movie should have done it that way instead of the constant barrage of spewing exposition. The villain also feels very two dimensional despite being played by a really good actor with quite a lot of range. Just felt like he wasn’t given much to do & felt as though his motivations were quite weak. The third act also shifts from Martial Art style action to the usual CGI fantasy esque action. For the life of me, I don’t know why. It’s a shame. In the end, Shang-Chi is a step in the right direction for the MCU in many categories. Love how diverse it is! Despite its shortcoming, I would still give this a light recommendation! Especially for the incredible first act.
3.25/5 stars.

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